Marketing to Millennials – Should You Change Your Strategy?

marketing to millennialsThe millennials are just getting out of school and entering the workforce. Like all generations, they have their own way of doing things and looking at the world.

Therefore, marketing to millennials is most definitely different than marketing to their parents or previous generations.

Millennials – born in the 1990s and early 2000s – are very much the here-and-now generation; information is available to them in seconds and has been their entire lives.

They’re into social media and world causes; they’re more confident than generations before them, but they’re also much more conscious of the world around them. This makes marketing to millennials more of a challenge for some businesses, but we’re here to help.

What Millennials Expect

marketing to millennialsMarketing to millennials relies on understanding what they value. To call them tech savvy is an understatement. They’ve grown up 100% online and have high expectations thrust on them by parents and by themselves. A significant proportion of millennials believe deeply in social causes and have great respect for the natural environment. Structured environments – but not rigid and “suffocating” – where they can receive mentoring and have relationships with their bosses are highly valued.

Have an Opinion

Millennials are very connected to the world and have strong opinions about topics from the environment to same sex marriage. Marketing to millennials means that you need to have an opinion. Although, it will be based on your corporate identity and branding, it has to be real and honest. Millennials see through fake immediately. Your opinion may not always be popular but it’s a chance to make an impact. Look at companies like Doritos, Campbell’s, Disney, LG, Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A. They’ve all taken stands in line with their philosophy. It’s not so much about the product or service as it is the message.

Social Media is King

Take social media seriously or forget about marketing to millennials. They get the bulk of their information online, sharing it with each other. The good part is that social media are free. Although, of course, you can pay for page views and ads. Stay on top of innovations like Vine, Periscope and the like.

Connect on a Personal Level

Millennials love personal attention because they want to matter. So, enable them to talk to you directly. You can no longer be faceless or too “corporate”. Marketing to millennials means bringing them into the loop. Provide opportunities for them to post comments, opinions and reviews.

Just don’t be stuffy. Millennials don’t respond the same way to matter-of-fact stuff as their parents do. Call the Disney help desk sometime and take notes how they do things because they make it all about the customer – they ask them about their day, joke with them, etc. Bottom line: connect, be engaging, be a real person.

Creative Brand Messaging

Be creative in your marketing. You want your message being spread and going viral, which won’t happen if you don’t appeal to millennials who check their social media accounts many, many times per day. Create content that puts your product there but almost like an afterthought instead of the obvious focus. Look at GoPro and its video with the firefighter and kitten. It had heart and appealed to sensitivities without being “in your face” commercial.

Push the Barriers

Having a strong opinion is different than sharing it. Marketing to millennials requires you to take chances and push barriers. Doritos and their rainbow chip spot got attention from one element and millennials took a stand on social media in opposition and mutual support. The same thing happened with Campbell’s Soup and their two dads spot. If you have a cause for positive reasons, millennials have your back. They are the future and the present. Market well because their loyalty is to be cherished.

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